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Tale of the tape

Tale Of The Tape: Better Sharks Venue – AT&T Park Vs. Levi’s Stadium

CSN Bay Area reports that the Sharks are expected to land the next outdoor National Hockey League game, a tradition that has become a fan favorite for around the NHL. What’s not decided, according to CSN (in addition to the date and opponent), is the venue, which boils down to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, or Levi’s Stadium future home of the 49ers. Where should the game be held? Here’s our breakdown:

AT&T Park levis-stadium2-e1397085167331

AT&T Park

Levi's Stadium

While parking is an issue, public transit and the ability to walk to the stadium (rink?) is hard to beat. Throw in local dining options and other nearby activities and this category is a no-brainer win for AT&T. Location The parking situation leans in Levi's favor, but Great America likely won't be open when the game is played, and there isn't a ton else nearby. The weather will likely be a tad warmer, but with ice to keep frozen, that might not bee a good thing.
We're sure Sharks fans would love chomping a Cha Cha bowl, and Giants home games put garlic fries on the map, but will California cuisine appeal to the hockey crowd? Food and Drinks The concession plans for Levi's are diverse and sound delicious. Colossal dog, meatball sandwich, chilli cheese nachos - these are the hearty staples we're going to need for an outdoor game.
There is no venue in the country on par with the views from above this park. World-class hockey on the shores of McCovey cove is just the kind of photo op the NHL is looking for with this event. Scenery The NFL's newest stadium is grand, and state-of-the-art, but if the stands of the massive structure aren't full, it won't be a good look for the NHL.
A look at the past venues should give us some clues as to what NHL officials are looking for. Previous MLB locales include Fenway Park in Boston, New York's Yankee Stadium, Chicago's Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium in LA. Sounds like a list you would be a fool to leave AT&T Park off of. Precedent Chicago's Soldier Field and Pittsburgh's Heinz Field join the home of the Buffalo Bills as former NFL host sites. Those are great venues, but no comparison to the name recognition enjoyed by the MLB stadiums.

The winner is

AT&T Park
AT&T Park
3 out of 4

It's really hard to know all the strengths of Levi's Stadium prior to it's full unveiling, but we know what we have in AT&T Park, and it's one of the best sports venues in American history. It's surprising the NHL hasn't hosted there already.

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